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Sports 2013-01-14

Algeria, Morocco prep for CAN

By Abdou Tajeddine in Rustenburg and Hassan Benmehdi in Casablanca for Magharebia – 14/01/13

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Optimism is in the air at the Greens' training camp in Rustenburg, South Africa. However, days ahead of the 2013 African Cup of Nations kick-off on January 19th, the Algerian national side remain cautious.

Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic had been pessimistic about his team's chances at CAN but he recently changed his position. Speaking Saturday (January12th) after the friendly nil draw against CAN hosts South Africa, he said he was proud of his players' performance. They will live up to fans' expectations, he added. The Algerian community in South Africa is already proud.

Les Fennecs are met with cheers from fans wherever they go, just as they were during the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

The Greens face a challenge, however, due to the questionable readiness of Rafik Halliche, Djamel Mesbah, Mehdi Lacen and Liassine Cadamuro.

Players Sofiane Feghouli, Foued Kadir, El Arbi Hilal Soudani and Islam Slimani can hopefully write a new chapter of achievement for Algerian football.

"We can actually win the African title," Sochaux midfielder Ryad Boudebouz told Magharebia.

"Our level and capabilities allow us to do that," Club Africain's Khaled Lemmouchia agreed. "Our will and fighting spirit will be our weapons to shine."

Real Sociedad's Liassine Cadamuro is playing in the African competition for the first time.

"I want to help win it," he said. "I've sustained many injuries since I joined the Algerian team, but I hope that the opportunity won't be missed this time," he told Magharebia.

Algeria kick off their CAN campaign with a match against Tunisia on January 22nd.

"The match against Tunisia will be exciting and tough," Djamel Mesbah said. "We'll try to win it."

According to Foued Kadir, "The Tunisia game will be the most important and the key for qualification to the next round."

A victory against Tunisia will "make the mission against Togo and Ivory Coast easier", Kadir added.

Morocco promise results

The Atlas Lions are ready for a win.

The national team hope to put their bitter failures in continental competitions behind them and restore Moroccan football to its former glory.

"The players are alert and their morale is good," manager Rachid Taoussi said. "These two factors are allowing us to work with a sense of team spirit."

Moroccan international Younes Belhinda described the "great" atmosphere in the Moroccan camp: "We're working hard during our training sessions and we're ready to play a good CAN."

Said Baddou, who trains the keepers, said that Nadir Lamyaghri, Anas Zniti and Khalid Askri were well aware of the importance of this African competition:

"I am personally confident and our three goalkeepers are armed with fighting spirit and ambition," the trainer said.

But the decision not to call internationals Houssine Kharja, Adil Taarabt and Christian Bassir from the squad will have serious consequences, sports analyst Badr Drissi told Magharebia.

Young Moroccan football fans are hoping for impressive results from the 29th CAN.

"We have a good manager and good players, and most importantly, we're in a group that we're capable of winning, so we're best placed to get through to the final stages," Casablanca student Adil Lamnarai said.

Mostafa, a car park attendant, said: "They're good and I feel sure they won't let us down."

Morocco are in Group A with Angola, Cape Verde and South Africa.

What do you think of this article?


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  1. Anonymous thumb

    BENYAMINA 2013-2-10

    One! Two! Three! Long live Algeria!


  2. Anonymous thumb

    nasro allah de ouezzane 2013-2-5

    The Western Sahara is 100% Moroccan. Long live Morocco! Long live our King! Long live our people!


  3. Anonymous thumb

    IMAD 2013-2-1

    I want Morocco to be happy with CAN.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    fethi 2013-1-28

    There is nothing to say, it is the plan of God and action of the Arab.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    mohamed 2013-1-26

    News of the national team. When does it play, with whom, which stadium?


  6. Anonymous thumb

    chiko flay 2013-1-22

    Algeria versus Tunisia 2013. Allows sound coverage because the only person to watch it will be in Aiben, which isn’t playing with their team like the Qadior lamp and some of them.


  7. Anonymous thumb

    ilya khssi aissam 2013-1-22

    "Excluded from the list". Rachid Taoussi considered discipline with the national team as a priority after he excluded the Moroccan player Adil Taarabte from the English Queeens Park Rangers. The experience has proven that the player isn't serious on the basis of his actions with the team in the past CAN 2012. Taoussi has also excluded Marouane Chamakh who is not prepared as well as Christian Bassir, player of the Turkish Borsasport, and Hussein Kharja midfielder in the Arabi Qatari team.


  8. Anonymous thumb

    ياسين 2013-1-22

    One! Two! Three! Long live Algeria!


  9. Anonymous thumb

    أسامة 2013-1-19

    Will Algeria win?


  10. Anonymous thumb

    NADJIB 2013-1-17

    The Algerian national team will be the winner of the Cup, God willing!


  11. Anonymous thumb

    إموريك إبراهيم 2013-1-17

    O Taoussi, you have realized the dreams, dissipated sorrows from his country, with selected youths with high aspirations, be happy with a victory which will fill the universes.


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